Category Archives: walk

Having Been Called Out From Afar

So, I have been called out for not blogging all summer, from Europe no less. A friend and writer colleague of mine has been working in Europe for over a year now. She has been a huge, huge supporter of my weight loss, blogging, writing, pretty much anything I do. Well, she reached out to a mutual friend of ours and was like, WTF why hasn’t Colleen been blogging? I was promised a blog post every day in June, and she hasn’t blogged at all! Where is she?

I know. I suck.

I have had a pretty rough time of it recently. It’s all been self-induced emotional craziness, but it has still be hard to deal with. Some of it I cannot write about here. I will probably be able to eventually, but for now, I cannot. It’s nothing health related, just a situation that I need to correct, and until I do, I have to keep radio silence on it. Once I have reached a point where it has been dealt with, I will share more. But the situation has really been a blow to my psyche.

So, onto things I can and will talk about on this site…

I wasn’t going to talk about much of this at all, but I shared some of what has been going on with a friend of mine and he told me I have to write about it. It’s the real stuff and that’s what people need to hear. He’s right, I know, but I have been dreading facing it.

Self-induced Emotional Craziness

I have had some pretty bad ups and downs. I still haven’t lost any new weight. In fact, earlier this summer, I had gained eight pounds. Now one of my fears is regaining all of the weight I have lost and undoing all of the positive changes I have made. I tried and tried to re-lose that weight, but nothing was working. I cracked. I took a hair dryer to my scale and pulverized it. Now the scale is broken. Yes, dear readers, I took the “If the scale isn’t telling you what you want to hear, blame the scale and destroy it” tactic to weight loss. 

Breaking the scale was kind of freeing. After a solid year and a half of weighing myself constantly and tracking my weight on this website, I have spent two blissful months not knowing what I weigh. I felt better temporarily, but it really hasn’t been much of a diet plan.

But not knowing what I weigh has also been torture. I’ve been trying to track my progress by my clothes. I’m still wearing the same size, so I know I haven’t gained any or much weight. But I also know I’m not losing anymore. And that’s just killing me. I really do want to complete my weight loss journey and get down to at least the 130s.

I also have not been exercising, which is not good. I have been walking. A lot. I’ve been trying to keep it up to about 4 miles a day, and most days, I’ve been pretty successful for the most part. But what I really need to do is get my butt back to the gym. 

Another thing I have been dealing with, and this is probably the most important, is compulsive eating. That was one of my biggest problems before the surgery and why I had gained so much weight. I can eat more than I could immediately after the surgery. Still not a lot of food, but definitely more. My emotional stress levels have been spiking up and down and with that, I have been fighting against the compulsive eating urge. Sometimes I’m successful, sometimes not. And I’ve spent a lot of time beating myself up emotionally about it.

It also hasn’t helped that there are people in my life who are ultra-judgmental about weight loss and diet. They view any setback as a personal character flaw and not just part of the journey. I haven’t wanted even talk about this because I haven’t wanted to deal with their reactions to some of the struggles I have been going through. Instead of support and encouragement I get anger, criticism, judgment, and insults. I just hate that. 

So, what have I been doing about all of this?

At first, I did nothing. Because, you know, that’s the best option, right? But this last few weeks, I have really been trying to take some positive steps. No, I haven’t bought a scale yet. Before I buy a scale again, I wanted to get myself back on track with my diet and dealing with some of the stress in my life.

I talked to a friend of mine at work about dealing with stress in general. She told me about a stress dealing technique that she uses, which includes identifying what you’re going through, whether it’s anger, or stress, the urge to compulsively eat, and talking yourself through the emotion until it passes. I cannot remember what she called it. If I do, I will post it here. I do have to say, it has helped a lot. 

I also did the 5 day pouch reset to take control of my eating and diet again. And it worked. I also took another step. I have been thinking about becoming a vegetarian. I don’t think I’m ready to go there just yet, but I have really cut back the amount of meat I eat. One, red meat is a huge problem for me still. I feel nauseated after eating it and have a lot of problems with it after it is in my system. And I love chicken, but recently, I haven’t really felt like eating it much. I’m trying to get my protein more from beans, cheese, yogurt, eggs, and nuts. I may never be a full vegetarian, but I would like to have a mostly vegetarian diet and maybe eat meat only sometimes. I like chicken wings too much to ever walk away entirely, I think.

I have also been trying to make sure I get as much fresh veggies and fruit in me as possible. I have been buying them at farmers markets around the area this summer and eating a lot of cucumbers, blueberries, zucchini, cauliflower, etc. And I’m really looking forward to apple season. I love apples and will eat them every day. I’ve already told my sister-in-law I want to go apple picking with them.

Another thing I have done to deal with eating issues and get myself back on track is I joined an online bariatric support group on Facebook. They talk about everything! I have been reading posts from other people who are just starting their journey, answering questions on what they are going through. Many of the people who comment are so excited because they are just getting ready for the surgery or just had it. Their excitement is so infectious. That has really helped me get back in touch with how excited I was when I started my weight loss journey. I haven’t really shared much about myself on that site yet, but I have really enjoyed talking to other people about what they are going through. 

Anyway, that’s what has been going on with me. I promise I will blog more often. I’m not sure I’ll promise every day just yet, but I will talk more about what I’m going through, if/when I buy a scale, and how the weight loss is going.

Happy Labor Day!

Advertisements

Another NSV Victory – Spring Goals Accomplished!

I had a major non-scale victory today. I walked around the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC to see the cherry blossoms.

This is the route I took. I parked on Jefferson just before the Smithsonian Castle in Washington, DC. I marked my starting point as 1400 Independence Avenue, which is just a block away.

Along the way, I saw the Jefferson Memorial, The George Mason Memorial, The FDR Memorial and the MLK Memorial.

This morning was a gloriously beautiful morning. Chilly and windy, especially along the water, but beautiful. I am planning on going to the Cherry Blossom parade next week, so I will do this again. Hopefully by then, the Cherry Blossoms will be at the peak bloom. I cannot wait to see those pictures.

In the meantime, Enjoy these pictures! Some facts first though:

  • Before today, I had never walked around the Tidal Basin before.
  • I had never seen the MLK memorial or the Jefferson Memorial.
  • The walk from where I parked and back again was about 2.5 miles.
  • I am exhausted and need a nap.

photo 1 (2) photo 1 (3) photo 1 (4) photo 1 (5) photo 1 (6) photo 2 (1) photo 2 (2) photo 2 (3) photo 2 (4) photo 2 (5) photo 3 (1) photo 3 (2) photo 3 (3) photo 3 (4) photo 3 (5) photo 4 (1) photo 4 (2) photo 4 (3) photo 4 (4) photo 4 (5) photo 5 (1) photo 5 (2) photo 5 (3) photo 5 (4) photo 5 (5)

Way Too Easy…Effortless Even

I started the weekend off great.  I hit the gym early on Saturday.  Well, early as in noonish.  I walked the 1.7 miles to the gym and worked out for an hour and a half.  I then I walked to my friend’s art studio, which is ten minutes from the gym.  Another friend of ours showed up there, and the three of us walked the 1.4 miles back to my neighborhood.  We sat outside of Caribou Coffee for hours drinking fruffy coffee drinks and talked.  It was great.  Then I walked back up the monster hill to my place.

Yesterday started off great too.  I woke up and had a light breakfast and met my brother and niece in DC to do the Saturday am museum tour.  We walked around for about 2.5 hours.  I had my water and a protein snack, 1/3 cup of pistachios, while they ate at McDonald’s.

I went home and packed up some food to take to my sister’s house for a picnic.  She called me in a panic at one point asking me to give her instructions for making a particular chicken dish that I’ve made for her in the past.  She loves it and wanted to make it for the picnic.  I told her to hold off and I would make it when I arrived.

Cooking is easy for me, effortless in fact.  It almost seems to come naturally to me.  I walked into my sister’s kitchen and just took over.  I cleaned and dried the chicken breasts and began chopping them up while I gave my sister orders.  Before I knew it, the chicken was in the oven and I was reaching into my bag to begin prepping my next project.  I sliced and marinated zucchini while chatting it up with one of my sister’s friends without even thinking about it.  I handed the plate to my sister and ordered her to take it down to whichever male family member was manning the grill with specific cooking instructions.

I continued talking to a couple of people and reached into my bag and pulled out a couple of avocados and some spicy salsa.  As I cut the avocados in half, her friend said, “Now what are you making??”

“Guacamole,” I replied as I continued to cook without stopping.  I mixed the salsa and avocado together with a touch of olive oil and ordered someone take it down to the chip table.  Then I reached in my bag again and pulled out a can of Trader Joe’s Chili, grabbed a pot and began heating it up.  “For chili dogs,” I announced before another question could be asked.

That’s where my good behavior ended.

You know what else I can do effortlessly without even thinking about it?  Eat.

I chowed down as if I hadn’t eaten in months.  I ate a handful of corn chips with my yummy guacamole.  I ate random vegetables, potato salad, coleslaw, a little bit of the chicken dish, random other foods I cannot even remember.  Then I topped it off with a bunless hotdog with chili, relish, ketchup, and mustard.  Oh and let’s not for get the handfuls of M&Ms I tried hiding in my pockets thinking no one could see me eat them if I put them there.

WTF?

Obviously, I cannot be trusted at a food party.  I seriously thought I was going to throw up.  Granted, I didn’t eat it all at once, but I did go back to the food table over and over throughout the day.

After I got home last night, I took a walk through my neighborhood trying to walk some of the binge off.  I stopped at Caribou and drank some decaf tea hoping to push some of that food through my system with a warm drink.

Obviously, going to the gym is on the agenda today, as well as feeling horribly guilty about what I did to myself yesterday.  Yeah, I know there is no reason to really feel guilty.  Everyone falls off of the wagon sometimes.  What I should concentrate on is how I recover from this episode and move on.  I don’t know why I’m continually surprised every time I fall, but I am.  I am also very disappointed in myself.

I clearly need to watch my behavior more closely.  I had a somewhat prophetic conversation with my friend Sush on Saturday.  We were talking about yoga.  I kind of don’t like the yoga classes at the gym because of all of the movement.  The last time I took yoga classes, we concentrated on sitting in the positions and gently stretching, connecting mind and body.  The classes at the gym are more like yoga-exercise than a meditative stretching practice.

Sush agrees with my dislike for those kinds of yoga classes.  She grew up in India and they took yoga classes in school first thing in the morning.  What a fantastic way to start the day.

We talked a bit about “triangle pose” and she was talking about the importance of looking at your hands.  She said that yoga poses concentrate on looking at your hands because you mind should always know what your hands are doing.

I never thought of that before.  That made me think back to the endless number of times in my life where I just ate and ate without thinking.  The number of times I bought a giant bag of chips and ate through the whole thing and barely had any memory of how I ate that much.  If my mind had really been aware of what my hands, (and mouth quite frankly), were doing, would I have mindlessly eaten the whole bag?  Would I have slowed down?

I don’t know.  Maybe not.  All I know is that my mind was not paying attention to my hands yesterday.  Not while I was cooking, and especially not while I was eating.

I did manage to track all of the food.  I went home and made myself remember everything that I ate and logged it in “My Fitness Pal.”  Even with all of the eating I did, I still managed to stay below my allotted calories for the day. Not that I feel any better about what I did, but I guess that’s something.

Moving forward I am going to have to make sure that I stop and think before I eat.  Pay attention to what my hands are doing and be more mindful of what not just what I eat, but how I eat.  Maybe, eventually, I will be able to understand why.

Strange And Fun Day

Yesterday was kind of an odd day.  I took the day off of work so that I could get caught up on cleaning, etc.  I woke up with a migraine instead.  I haven’t actually had a migraine in years.  I took my blood pressure to make sure that it was not elevated.  Then I put my glasses on and I realized that my face hurt and I could not breathe.  Allergies.  I took some allergy meds and slept off on and pretty much most of the day.

Then, I got up at 4:00 pm, took a bath, dried my hair, put on a somewhat cute outfit, and went out.  I had to finish reading an article for my Wednesday night writer’s group and I was meeting a fellow writer to talk about a project we are working on.  (More on that another time.)

I started feeling better almost immediately, partly due to the large amount of allergy medicine I had taken earlier in the day and partly because of the rather large steaming cup of cappuccino I drank.  I met with my friend and we had a productive meeting, and then we went to the writer’s group and that was pretty great too.

After writer’s group, we went to Busboys & Poets restaurant and hung out for a good long time.  We had so much fun.  There was lots of laughter and fun, as well as some drinking.  One of our members is moving to Europe for a couple of years.  She got a new job there and has signed a contract for two years.  We will all miss her, but this is a great opportunity for her.

Everything was right in my neighborhood so I could walk everywhere.  I think that’s pretty darn awesome.  I love being able to walk everywhere now.  When you lose the ability to move around easily and then get that ability back, you really appreciate having the ability to walk and not rely on cars/other people to get around.  It also makes you appreciate the people you have in your life who put up with you when you were unable to walk well.  I have the greatest friends.  I really do.  They all celebrate my return to health and cheer me on all of the time.

I also offered a ride home to a friend of mine who lives just across the highway from me.  Since I had walked to all of the events, we had to walk up the giant hill to my apartment building to get my car.  Now, if you all remember, in December, I bought a Smart Car.  Downside to the Smart Car, it only holds two people.  Kind of like a sporty European car, but somewhat less cool.

Our friend Jim walked up the hill with us and was just going to walk back down the hill to his car.  Well, my other friend Sush, wouldn’t hear of it.  She insisted that we drive him back down to his car.  So, Sush climbed into the “hatch” part of the Smart Car and Jim sat in the only other seat in the car that was not mine.  I have to admit, I was kind of terrified for Sush.  Fortunately, the garage where he was parked was not that far away, but it was a hilarious ride.  Everything worked out just fine, thank goodness!

I had such a great time last night.  I’m glad I made it out of the house and hung out with my friends, even if my apartment is still a mess!  Oh well, that’s what weekends are for.  Happy Friday-Eve!

Non Scale Victories

Several other WLS bloggers that I follow talk about NSVs or non-scale victories.  These are victories, or milestones that have been achieved due to weight loss that have are not measured on a scale.  I guess I kind of have as well, I just have not labeled them NSVs.

My NSVs  mean a lot to me because my lifestyle has really changed since my surgery in October of last year.  I think I have made great progress, even though my weight loss has kind of plateaued.  I am bummed about that, but I still feel good about what I have achieved so far.

  • I dropped 112 pounds.
  • I’m only 61 pounds from my goal weight.
  • I went down from a size 32 to a size 14-16.
  • I can walk.
  • I can breathe.
  • I can walk and breathe at the same time.
  • I can walk a long, long time before I have to take a break and rest.
  • I feel more confident.
  • I feel healthier.
  • My blood pressure is normal without medications.
  • My cholesterol is normal.
  • My triglycerides are normal.
  • My back hurts a lot less.
  • My feet hurt a lot less and do not swell quite as much or as often.
  • I’ve noticed guys checking me out.  
  • I suddenly do not feel invisible.
  • I can stand on the metro without severe back pain.
  • I can run to catch a metro train if I am running late.
  • I sometimes run across the street.
  • I walk through my neighborhood on an almost daily basis.

Before the surgery, I was very sick and had great difficulty walking and breathing.  I was pretty heavily medicated for my blood pressure.  I had managed to get my cholesterol under control, but my triglycerides were off the charts high.   I feared that my poor little heart would give out on me.  And I felt just awful all of the time.  

I may not have hit my goal weight yet, and maybe I never will.  But I am so happy with the progress that I have made and I feel great!

OH!  And I colored my hair using the professional stuff my sister used a few months ago.  I think I did a pretty good job.

me

Life, Rebooted!

This past week has been fantastic.  Every day I am more and more amazed at what I can do, thanks to my 112 pound weight loss, which seems to have stalled-out recently.  At least I’m holding strong though and not going back up!

As I posted yesterday, my friends Liz & Steve have been visiting.  Well, yesterday, they went to the Smithsonian Museums with their girls.  I work in DC about 4 stops from the museums metro station, which is conveniently called Smithsonian.  I walked the 5 blocks to Farragut West, got myself turned around because I do not often go to that station.  Hopped off at the Smithsonian Station and  walked over to the Air and Space Museum, which had just closed for the day, and waited outside for my friends.  Then we took the metro and bus back to my hood where they were having a jazz concert/wine tasting and dined at the inimitable Busboys & Poets.

busboys

Then we walked around Shirlington some more.  My friends bought some cheese from Cheesetique.  And we walked back up the hill to my apartment.

A year ago, I could not have done all of this walking.  I would have gone home from work, probably by car.  Then I would have waited at my apartment for my friends to call me.  I would have had to drive the 4 blocks to the restaurant, parked, ate, and then drive back home.  I would have been in horrible pain, have difficulty breathing, and would have been just miserable.

Today, I think nothing of aimlessly wandering all over the darn place.  Plus, I was able to enjoy jazz, good friends, and good food!  I truly feel as if my life has been rebooted.

Tonight, more jazz at the Sculpture Garden!

Awesome Saturday

So far, today has been pretty great.  I made plans with a friend of mine to do a morning walk along the bike path.  I got up, had breakfast and walked down the hill to the shops and met her.  Then, we walked for more than an hour on the bike path.  I rewarded myself with a nice large steaming cup of cappuccino with cinnamon sprinkled on top.  Isn’t everything just better with cinnamon sprinkled on top?  Even chocolate, which really does not need improvement at all, tastes a teeny bit better with some cinnamon.

capp

Then I walked back home and showered, changed, and went back out to buy beauty supplies so that I can color my hair later this weekend.  Then we went to lunch at Busboys & Poets where I had about 1/3 of a cobb salad.  OMG yum!

Now I’m going to rest for a bit and wait for my sister to call me.  She and I are supposed to do something today.  If she bails, I am going to an art show with a different friend of mine.  At some point, I really should take a nap I think.  But I feel so good, as if I have accomplished so much!  I never could have done this much so early in the day before.

I really do love my new life!